John Brittain, 68, being escorted into the Penticton courthouse in April. Brittain and his ex-wife, Katherine Brittain, have been named in a civil lawsuit by the daughter of a couple that were fatally shot. (Western News file photo)

John Brittain, 68, being escorted into the Penticton courthouse in April. Brittain and his ex-wife, Katherine Brittain, have been named in a civil lawsuit by the daughter of a couple that were fatally shot. (Western News file photo)

Suspect’s ex-wife was ‘conspirator’ in fatal Penticton shooting spree, lawsuit claims

John Brittain and his ex-wife Katherine Brittain were named in a civil lawsuit

The daughter of a couple that was shot and killed in Penticton in April has filed a civil lawsuit against the alleged shooter and his ex-wife, claiming she was a “conspirator.”

Sarah Young, daughter of Susan and Barry Wonch who were killed in a shooting spree along with two others, is pursuing the family compensation act for her own benefit against alleged shooter John Brittain and his ex-wife Katherine Brittain.

John Brittain is facing four murder charges, allegedly shooting and killing his ex-wife’s neighbours — the Wonchs, Darlene Knippelberg and Rudi Winter on April 15. Katherine Brittain is not facing any criminal charges.

Winter was found fatally shot in a yard on Lakeview Street where neighbours said he was seen trimming a tree at a residence prior to the shooting, close to where John Brittain was residing. Not long after, the three others were shot and killed in the residential neighbourhood of Cornwall Drive — the same street that Winter and Katherine Brittain resided.

READ MORE: Four victims killed in Penticton shooting spree remembered at vigil

RCMP previously reported that John Brittain walked into the detachment one hour after police first received a report of a possible shooting.

In the notice of claim, filed June 14, Young states that for an unknown period of time, prior to the alleged murder, John Brittain’s ex-wife “wrongfully and maliciously conspired with the defendant John Brittain to commit the murder by combining at different times for the purpose of assisting and encouraging each other in committing the murder.” As well, she claims that Katherine Brittain was counselling, aiding and abetting Brittain.

READ MORE: Preliminary inquiry dates set for John Brittain

There was no evidence in the court documents, filed at the Kelowna registry, to support the allegations made by Young. She is seeking punitive damages for loss of her parents, loss of support, inheritance, expenses and possible further losses that counsel may advise.

In a response to the civil claim Katherine Brittain stated that she has nothing to do with the deaths of the Wonchs and “had no idea that John Brittain would kill them, if he did.” The court document further states the defendant is not liable for events outside of her knowledge and control.

John Brittain also submitted a response denying all of the claims made by Young.

The four murder charges John Brittain is facing are currently before the court with the last appearance setting a preliminary inquiry for Jan. 27 to 31. Brittain is behind bars at the Okanagan Correctional Centre in Oliver and has been on a no-contact order with his ex-wife as Crown counsel has not determined if she will be called as a witness in the criminal proceedings.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Low interest rates have acted as a catalyst for the pandemic real estate market. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy)
Real estate sales surging across Greater Victoria but risks lie ahead

Single family home prices jump nine per cent over past year while condo values remain stable

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 from Vancouver to Victoria Feb. 28 were exposed to a case of COVID-19. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
COVID-19 exposure found on flight from Vancouver to Victoria

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 Feb. 28 affected

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for Greater Victoria, with winds expected to get up to 70 km/h Friday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Wind warning promises blustery Friday for Greater Victoria

Winds up to 70 km/h expected Friday morning

Sidney staff have cleaned up unknown number of screws dumped along Resthaven Drive. (Black Press Media File)
Crews deal with a rock slide on the Malahat section of Highway 1 in 2017. (Black Press Media file photo)
Rock work closes Highway 1 in Langford for spurts

Friday closures could delay drivers up to 20 minutes

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read